External Data

PhraseExpress can extract data from a variety of sources, such as Microsoft Outlook, text files, CSV, XLS or XML values:

MS Outlook Add-In

The Microsoft Outlook Add-In is optionally installed with the regular PhraseExpress program installation.

The Add-In extends PhraseExpress with a set of macro functions to extract data from Outlook:

The Outlook Add-In can extract the title, first and last name, the gender and email address of the send, the recipient's email address, the subject and body text of the email, that is currently selected in the inbox.

The Add-In can solely extract this data from the currently selected email in the inbox. It does not work for any other email.

The title and name are extracted by analyzing the email body and works best for business emails with standardized layout. It is not 100% accurate.

The Add-In requires a local Microsoft Outlook installation.

Installation

  1. Exit Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Download and install the regular PhraseExpress client. This installation file includes the Outlook Add-In.
  3. Follow the on-screen instruction and make sure to have the Outlook Add-In checkbox checked.
  4. If you do not have the sample phrases, download the sample phrase file!

The Add-In is launched automatically with the PhraseExpress client and doesn't need any configuration.

Microsoft Windows limits the installation of Outlook Add-Ins to the user account used during the installation. The Add-In is not available for other user accounts on that computer .

To install the Add-In for all users:
  1. Exit Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Install PhraseExpress (including enabled Outlook Add-In option).
  3. Launch Microsoft Outlook with administrative right (Right-click program icon and select "Launch as admin").
  4. Install the PhraseExpress Outlook Add-In in Microsoft Outlook with the standard option ("File » Options » Manage » Add-Ins » Go » Add").
  5. Select the PhraseExpress Outlook Add-In file "pexmsol.dll" in the PhraseExpress program folder (default: "C:\Programme(x86)\PhraseExpress").

Getting started

If you have loaded the sample phrases, you can immediately start using the Add-In:

  1. Launch PhraseExpress and MS Outlook.
  2. Highlight any email in your Outlook inbox that is normally formatted (Opening, contents and complimentary close).
  3. Press "Reply" to reply to that email.
  4. Click the PhraseExpress task tray icon and select the desired personalized opening:

Alternatively, type "Dear" followed by space in the email reply. PhraseExpress offers you to auto-complete the name.

Gender Detection

This macro function tries to detect the sender's gender by checking his first name against a built-in list of first names.

GenderMacro function output
Name not found0
Female sender1
Male sender2
Both possible3

Embed external file contents

This macro function inserts the contents of the specified file into the phrase.

Supported file types:

File TypeFile Extension
Text files.TXT, .RTF, .HTM, .HTML, .DOC, .DOCX

Bitmap files

.BMP, .JPG, .PNG

Microsoft Word files require a local Microsoft Word installation.

Insert external file

This macro function copies the contents of the specified file into the clipboard and pastes the clipboard into the target application when inserting the phrase, that contains this macro function.

Microsoft Word or Excel files require a local installation of Microsoft Word or Excel.

CSV file values

This macro function inserts a specified values of a CSV file ("comma separated values).

You can define a range of values by their start and end row/column coordinates (starting with 1). Multiple cells can optionally be separated with a separator text.

MS Excel cell contents

This macro function inserts a specified range of cells of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

You can define a range of cells by their start and end row/column coordinates. Multiple cells can optionally be separated with a separator text.

PhraseExpress uses column numbers instead of letter coordinates (so called "R1C1 reference style") to allow you to calculate cell coordinates with the calculation macro function.

To insert the entire spreadsheet instead of a range of cells, use this macro function.

This macro function requires a local Microsoft Excel installation.

Find MS Excel column

This macro function returns the column coordinate (beginning with 1) of the specified Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, that contains the specified search string.

This macro function requires a local Microsoft Excel installation.

Find MS Excel row

This macro function returns the row coordinate (beginning with 1) of the specified Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, that contains the specified search string.

This macro function requires a local Microsoft Excel installation.

XML value

This macro function inserts a XML file value, addressed by its xpath value (see Wikipedia).

This macro function can be used as a data bridge to external databases which can create an XML file.

PhraseExpress accepts files and URLs of XML files stored on a web server.

Windows environment variable

This macro function inserts the specified Windows environment variable (see Wikipedia).

Language translation

PhraseExpress can translate any provided text into a specified language. If no source language is specified, the translation algorithm analyzes the text to determine the language of the provided text.

In most cases, you probably nest macros into the source text input box, e.g. to insert the current clipboard content or to insert a variable.

The translation is provided by the external, independent, online service Deepl.com and requires a paid subscription. You will be provided with an API key, that you need to enter in the PhraseExpress settings.

ActiveDirectory variable

This macro function inserts the specified LDAP variable into the phrase.

This macro is useful e.g. for email signatures which are dynamically filled by the ActiveDirectory variables.

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